The underrepresentation of women playwrights is a well-known and documented fact, and it increases exponentially when it comes to Indigenous women, women of colour, and trans people. Frequently, ADs, producers, and educators state that they don’t produce shows by women or trans-femmes simply because they don’t know of any good plays by them. Members of the Women’s Caucus, Kelley Jo Burke (Chair), Frances Koncan (Previous Chair), Marilo Nunez (Deputy Chair), Beverley Cooper, Marcia Johnson, and Deborah Williams, along with PGC staff liaisons Rebecca Burton and Suzette Corrie, were at the helm of this initiative. The SureFire List, comprised of 23 plays, is impressive for its diversity (not only in terms of racialization, age, region, and so forth, but also for aesthetic style), and can now be picked-up, shared, read, discussed, and implemented far and wide.
Rebecca Burton says, “The release of this list seems especially apropos at this time, given the momentum of the #MeToo and #TimeIsUp movements. Moreover, as a country, Canada claims official multicultural status for itself, but that isn’t always evident when one attends the theatre. It is time for our country to walk the walk along with the talk. Canada’s stages need to reflect the actual demographics of its population, and The SureFire List provides a resource tool that can help encourage and contribute to that transformation.”
In addition to the main SureFire List, the Women’s Caucus has created additional listings from the raw data, including all the ranked plays, all the chosen playwrights, and all the play and playwright picks according to the playwrights’ places of residence, as well as some statistics pertaining to the Recommenders’ response rates in each province. To view the complete listings, click here.